Product: Makino HQSF sinker EDM
End User: Lens Tool & Mould
Lens Tool & Mould, a 12,000 sq ft machine shop in Windsor, ON, that specializes in manufacturing challenging lens moulds, has been in operation since 1965, when Frank Godinek formed the business. In 2004, the company brought its outsourced EDM machining in-house and within a few years, its solidified its reputation as a leader in EDM fine finishing of lens moulds.
Godinek, now 73, is still involved in the business, but has been joined by son Tamas.
“We started doing our own work on the Makino EDM,” says Tamas Godinek. “Other companies heard about what we doing and wanted us to start burning speaker grills on our EDM. These products are fussy to work with but with our EDM, we were able to produce a high quality part with a smooth finish that didn’t require manual polishing, eliminating the time and money involved in such a process.”
Lens Tool & Mould’s EDM is a Makino die sinker EDNC65S RAM EDM with HQSF (High Quality Surface Finish) technology.
“What sold us on the Makino was the fine finish technology. We were making a certain type of mould with lots of ribs and the technology allowed us to put a fine finish on the ribs. Makino’s EDMs are the best in the market and we wanted to buy the top machine. It has been the best machine decision that we’ve made,” says Godinek.
The EDM is equipped with a 32-position tool changer—“the jobs we were doing had many ribs so we needed the full 32 to maximize lights out machining. In fact, in the second year of having the machine, it was running five or six days unattended and we were able to work on other jobs. Being a small shop we don’t have a second shift, so we have to rely on our machine as much as we can and that’s why we went with the best technology for EDM.”
Godinek adds that Makino’s technology puts less wear on graphite electrodes. “We might need only two but on other machines it would take three electrodes. We typically use copper electrodes for the fine finish work because it gives us a mirror-like finish.”
The HSQF uses a powder additive mixed with the dielectric fluid to improve electrical conductivity for more consistent discharging and spark diffusion, which provides a smaller crater for a high finish without a loss in metal removal rates. The machine is equipped with a 500 mm x 500 mm fixed table and the three axis head provides axis travels of 650 mm x 450 mm x 350 mm.